The mayor of London yesterday announced the launch of an online database that will ‘name and shame’ criminal landlords and letting agents in the capital.
The new database, to be built in partnership with London boroughs and published on the mayor’s website, will cite criminal landlords and letting agents who have been successfully prosecuted for housing offences.
Sadiq Khan said it will help protect the two million private renters in London as well as act as a deterrent to the minority of landlords and letting agents who break the law.
The database will enable councils to easily share information on landlords’ criminal history and provide details of enforcement activity and investigations. Londoners will also be able to search and report suspected criminal activity.
Due to launch in the autumn, the database will be developed with information from six councils – Newham, Brent, Camden, Southwark, Kingston and Sutton – with other boroughs across London set to join.
‘I refuse to stand by as thousands of Londoners suffer sky-high rents and horrendous living conditions in a city they call home,’ said Mr Khan.
‘To help renters, I will be working in partnership with London Boroughs to launch my new ‘name and shame’ database of criminal landlords and letting agents to help Londoners before they rent a property, and to deter dishonest landlords and agents from operating.’
Speaking in Newham, Mr Khan continued: ‘I fully support the excellent work councils like Newham are doing to target the worst offenders in their borough.
‘I will continue to support them and other boroughs who use licensing schemes effectively to drive up standards in the private rented sector.’
Responding to the announcement, Seb Klier, London campaigns manager at Generation Rent, said: ‘For renters to get a better deal in London, it’s vital that we have a London-wide approach to dealing with rogue landlords, which is why the mayor’s ‘name and shame’ database is so important.
‘At the moment, renters sign a tenancy with no information about whether their landlord has a good record in the market.
‘This new initiative will empower renters by allowing them to check if a landlord has committed a recent housing offence, and it will put the capital’s worst offenders on red alert, letting them know that if they mistreat their tenants, they will be exposed.’
Richard Lambert, chief executive officer, National Landlords Association, also welcomed the new database.
‘The mayor’s ‘name and shame’ online database brings information on criminal landlords and agents together to make it much easier for renters to find and avoid landlords anyone who has been prosecuted for housing related crimes.
‘Importantly, it is also the first time renters have had a central online tool that should take some of the stress out of reporting potentially criminal housing conditions to their local authority.’